We Want You to Foster!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Miss Hayley Mills

Remember this little girl?  Hayley was our little miracle girl who came through emergency eye enucleation (removal) surgery at a little less than 2 weeks old and weighing only half a pound. 

Well, look at her now! She's all grown up.  She was spayed on Monday and will be available for adoption this weekend.  She really did not want to sit still for the camera until we put the pedastal by the wall so we have shadowing in the picture (and no time to touch it up in photoshop) but it's a good picture of her.  Although she looks bigger than she really is.  She's 12.5 weeks old and is still a petite girl. 

We have a 100% spay/neuter before adoption policy, no exceptions.  We will never adopt out an cat that has not been sterilized.  We get many requests and applications from people wanting to adopt our kittens when they are too young to be sterilized and we could have many more adoptions each week if we adopted them out that young, but we won't.  We are absolutely committed to helping end pet overpopulation. 

We make sure every cat and kitten is fully vetted before they are adopted.  That means they are all tested for FeLV/FIV, have their initial FVRCP+FeLV vaccination and booster, rabies vaccination, spayed/neutered, treated for intestinal parasites/fleas/earmites, and microchipped with Home Again microchips with shelter paid registration.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prison kittens update

Well, the friendly mama and her five babies and the other set of two babies born to a feral mama all go to be spayed/neutered tomorrow.  They are all so sweet (they were born inside the prison gates and had lots of handling and socialization from the inmates).  They'll be available for adoption next week.

The second five prison kittens (born outside the prison gates so extremely extremely feral at 6 weeks) went to a new foster home this weekend.  Elizabeth and her son, Phillip, used to TNR in New York and are used to interacting with very feral kittens.  Phillip is 17 and is home during the day and able to give the kittens a lot more one-on-one socialization than I could.  They picked up the kittens Saturday and we decided it was best to seperate Alcatraz from the other kittens since he was the most hardcore -- the old "divide and conquer".  Apparently it's working because Liz just let me know that Phillip was able to hold Alcatraz today.  That little kitten was more fierce than some adult ferals I've had so this is huge, huge, huge!!  I am very thankful for Liz and Phillip.  Not only are they fostering the last set of prison kittens, but they adopted Bridgey last year and are now volunteering with Alley Cats and Angels.

We love our adopters and volunteers! You are all awesome.

Monday, June 28, 2010


We had four adoptions this week. Bessie and Bandit were adopted together.  Isaak Newton was adopted and he'll go to his new home in a few weeks.  And Sloan was adopted.  Bye babies, we will all miss you but you went/are going to great homes and that's why we rescue.



Isaak Newton


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alter an Alley Cat

If you had asked me last year, how many cats we thought we could sponsor spay/neuters for this year, I would have said 5 a month so 60 total.  Well, as of today, June 24, 2010 - we have already sponsored 75 (actually we sponsored 74 through 76 today) spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for cats owned by low-income families and feral cats whose caregivers cannot afford the cost of spay/neuter.

Alley Cats and Angels pays for all medical costs through our Alter an Alley Cat fund so and there is no cost to the cat owner or the caregiver.  If the caregiver can make a donation to offset the cost of the surgery, great but most cannot and we do not turn someone away as long as they are in need and we have the funds to sponsor the spay/neuter. 

Seventy-six (76) so far this year -- and the year is only half over.  How phenomenal is that?

*The Alter an Alley Cat fund is on an as-funds are available basis.  If you need a sponsored spay/neuter, please fill out the online application on our website:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Joys of Fostering

Come on, you know you want to - how can you resist this?!! Kittens provide endless hours of entertainment for their foster parents.  Email us today at

We'll even provide you with a few rolls of toliet paper just for kitten entertainment (although we are on a budget so it will be cheap 1-ply). Picture courtesy of one of our foster moms.

Cassie, sweet kitten with upper eyelid agenesis

More Kitten Medical

We are a small rescue organization, but we don't shy away from the hard cases - really shy cats or feral kittens, very weak and sickly kittens, cats/kittens coming to us needing a lot of medical care.  Most of the time, we know before we take the cat/kitten in that it will need special medical and we're prepared to take it on.  As long as we have room to take the cat/kitten in, we will not turn it away just because it will require more than routine medical. 

This year so far there have been quite a few big vet bills:
  • Zammie, the cat with Ehlors-Danlos Syndrome, who's non-routine vet bills so far are close to $750 (or more)
  • Hayley Mills, our little miracle girl who was only 2 weeks old and weighed less than a pound but came through eye enucleation surgery (removal of eye) like a trooper.  She's still charging around like a trooper and won't sit still for a picture.  But oh, she is cuter than a ladybug!!
  • Then came Cassie, another occular unicorn, who we knew didn't have upper eyelids when we took her in (the person that found the kittens in the attic took them to the vet).  We knew that medical for Cassie would most likely be a huge expense over time, but we wouldn't turn her away because of that.  Although except from initial visits, most of her eye medical is delayed until she is 3-4 months old.
  • The Blue Jean Kittens (Levi, Strauss, Wrangler, and Lee) were very weak and had bad eyes when we took them.  Poor Wrangler has cataracts -- at only 8 weeks old.  The specialist at Animal Eye Care said it may resolve itself as he continues to get proper nutrition.  But these guys were in such bad shape when we got them, that they may very well have stunted growth - they are getting good nutrition, receiving medical treatment but are still very small for 8 weeks old.  
  • CeCe (itty bitty cow kitty), Cassie's sibling, has been to the vet three times in a week and had to undergo a procedure last week.  
  • Meredith Grey, of the Grey's Anatomy kittens, had surgery today for an encapsulated hernia and also required a partial bowel dissection. Meredith is 13 weeks old.
Couple of kittens went to vet yesterday (and a few more went to Animal Eye Care) and when Marie picks up kittens from vet yesterday and texts me the bill total, my text back to her was "call 911, I can't breathe".  I was just kidding but I had sticker shock.  We are so very thankful for our supporters because we don't have to turn away the tough medical cases and we are able to get all the "unusual" medical done.  (Although we will probably still be organizing a fundraiser soon to replenish the medical fund.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meet the Star Wars Kittens

Born to a feral cat, the kittens are are all coming along very nicely. Laura (an adopter of two kittens from us earlier this year) is now fostering for us and fosters these babies. She sends us daily updates and pictures and we couldn't possibly be more happy with their progress - they are doing great.

Leia (Princess Leia, one of the Jedi twins - very appropriate because kittens Luke and Leia look a lot alike!)

Luke (one of the Jedi twins - very appropriate because kittens Luke and Leia look a lot alike!)

Chewie (Chewbacca)

Artoo (R2D2)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Prison Project Update

Now that I've brought back all the cats trapped to date (except the ones being spayed/neutered today), the inmates really trust me and catch more cats than I do.  :-)

We trapped two more cats last week and two more over the weekend.  Actually, I should say the inmates caught two cats for me Wednesday because the cats weren't responding to the yummy food in the traps.  The inmates were able to pick up a few more of the cats with my heavy animal control gloves and put the cas into the traps.  So Max and Runt (Runt is a little black lady - maybe 7 months old -- with beautiful green eyes) were spayed/neutered last week. 

Last night I had a trapping partner (other than the inmates who always help).  Katie is doing a senior project on feral cats; she is rabies vaccinated, volunteers at Operation Catnip, and is now getting experience doing the actual T part of TNR.  Good thing because we broke out the drop trap and while some very talented people may be able to do it by themselves, I find it  much easier with two people (after the cat is actually trapped).

A few of the cats like Smokey and what I'm sure is the mama to the gray babies (two still to catch) seem to be very trap savvy so I brought my fabulous folding drop trap purchased from HubCats Boston.  And I broke out the good stuff - people food (KFC worked last weekend to catch the kittens).  First, I drove by KFC to buy some chicken to take off the bone because kitties love KFC.  Imagine my surprise when they tell me it will be 15 minutes for original recipe and 10 for extra crispy.  Seriously?  I mean really - that is all you make - chicken - how can you be out?!  So I stop at JJ's Fish and Chicken on the way to the prison and buy a combo plate of fish and shrimp to entice the cats. (Dear IRS - can I put all this on my taxes? I'm spending a fortune in people food trapping cats, but will you decide to audit me if you see KFC and JJ's Fish and Chicken on my taxes? It's not for me, I don't like fish and I can't stand KFC, it really is for TNR projects.) 

Set up the drop trap and put some shrimp and fish under it and BAM - less than five minutes, Smokey was under the drop trap and after we drop it, he's trying to levitate enough to lift it (hah, I have weights on the back, buddy boy).  Run to cover the trap, some of the inmates help hold it down while Katie and I work to get him from the drop trap to the humane trap.  Success! 

We then move the drop trap to another location near where the mama and babies have been sighted and also set up some humane traps along the perimeter.  After about 40 minutes or so of that, we decide to set up outside the back gate where we have seen her cross over to other state property.  It's dark and it's hard to see when a black cat is under a drop trap but Katie has better eyesight than I do and told me when a cat was under and to pull and drop the trap, and we did and caught her.  So it is dark and we're not quite sure it's the mama, but we're hoping.  The kittens are old enough to take care of themselves so I put food and water under the trailer.  If this is the mama, I'm going to hold onto her for just a bit longer than usual in hopes that it will help us get the kittens a little easier -- without mama telling them "no, that trap is bad, don't go in there". 

And with Smokey caught, that is allegedly the last cat inside the cats that needs to be TNR'd (I asked the inmates and guards to be on the lookout for cats without cropped ears and if seen, have the guards call me to let me know). 

So, unless there are more seen inside the gates without cropped ears, we'll turn our attention to outside the gates (front, back, side, basically all around it where ever we are allowed to go) and try to get the rest.  Although we have no idea how many there are.

So we've trapped 12 feral adults (6 males and6 females) and taken in (to our adoption program) 1 friendly adult and 12 kittens so far from the prison.  

Seven of the kittens were born inside the gates and had interaction with the inmates from almost the time they were born so they were super friendly from the minute we took them in.  The other five kittens (and 2 still to catch) were born outside the gates, meaning no interaction and they are a challenge.  I've split them into two cages (3 in one cage, 2 in the other), but Alcatraz is one of the 3 in a cage and will be moved tonight to a cage by himself - sadly.  Sing-Sing and Rikers are in the cage with Alcatraz and while they don't like attention yet, they don't try to attack me.  I actually have to put on goggles to stick my head into the cage with Alcatraz -- he was the hardest to trap and he may be the most challenging to come around, but he might surprise me.  I don't want him hindering the taming of Sing-Sing and Rikers so he'll be by himself and I'll work with him seperately.  Sing-Sing and Rikers (caged together) and Folsom and Attica (caged together) hiss and spit and try to get away but don't seen totally adverse to being petted.  They might not enjoy it yet, but they don't threaten my life when I open the cage.  :-)  I'm going to start with turkey baby food on my fingers with them tonight and see how they react.  Alcatraz gets turkey baby food on a very long spoon or I might lose a finger).

I have faith these babies will all come around and be adoptable sweethearts, it just might take a while.  Once I get them to where they are doing really well, I'll try to play musical foster homes so they don't just socialize to me. 

June: National Adopt a (Shelter) Cat Month

Consider adopting an adult cat: adult cats are just as wonderful as kittens and won't keep you awake at night playing soccer on your forehead!

In celebration of the American Humane's national Adopt a Cat Month and the ASPCA's Adopt a Shelter Cat MonthAlley Cats and Angels has sponsorships to encourage the adoption of adult cats. These sponsorships allow us to offer a special adoption fee of $50 for all adult cats (cats over the age of 1 year) adopted during the month of June.

All cats have received wellness exams, are spayed/neutered, tested for FeLV/FIV, fully vaccinated (FVRCP/FeLV initial vaccination and booster, and rabies vaccinated), treated for intestinal parasites/ear mites/fleas, and microchipped.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Check out "Kitten Alley"

We've started a seperate Facebook page for all the kittens.  We only have some of them up so far, but working on getting all the rest up.!/pages/Kitten-Alley/127004140662250

Meet the first set of prison kittens

These set of five kittens were born to a friendly mama at the correctional facility.  The mama is also now in our adoption program, and we'll get a picture of her up soon too.  These babies were named after the 1980's cartoon, Thundercats.  These sweet babies wil be available for adoption the first week in July.  Meet the Thundercats:

Lion-O: DSH Orange Tabby with cream colored fur that lines his eyes. He is the ringleader of the Thundercats but is a very playful little guy with a gentle little soul. He is the first to come running at any cry to see what is wrong. Lion-O is great with other cats and kittens, as well as dogs and babies. He will need plenty of things to climb on and toys to keep him occupied because he gets bored very easily.

Panthro: DSH Black rings on Black with a white heart on her chest. She is a very gentle kitten that loves a night time snuggle and a tummy rub. She loves to sleep on her back and hang her little tongue out! She loves to play peek-a-boo and is great with other cats and kittens as well as dogs and babies.

Cheetara: DSH Grey Tabby with rings and leopard spots! Cheetara has really come around from being a shy little girl to having an outgoing personality. She loves to greet you at the door any door really and desires a good rub down! She is content with laying at your feet or up on your shoulders for a nighttime cuddle. She is great with other cats and kittens as well as dogs and babies.

Thundera: DSH Torbie. She is the smallest of the Thundercats but has the biggest personality! She doesn't want anyone thinking that just because she is little she can't do the same things that her brothers and sisters can do. Actually it is just the opposite! She is the first to accomplish a feat and she gets a look of proudness on her face! She loves to sleep under the bed or in a cubbie hole, but in the morning she will come running to greet you and say hello. This doesn't mean that she is a morning cat because she values her beauty sleep! She is great with other cats and kittens as well as babies. She doesn't care to much for the dogs right now but is coming around quickly.

Kano: DMH Tabby. He is the fluffiest and the largest of the of the Thundercats and has a sweet personality. He goes with the flow and is really the cool cat of the bunch. Though he is meek, he loves to play and roll around with toys. He'll come up for some love and a snuggle, but then he wants to get down and curl up in a ball to fall asleep. This little guy loves to sunbathe in the window. He is great with other cats and kittens as well as dogs and babies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dog lovers can help support our Alter an Alley Cat program

Prefer dogs over cats?  Well, we won't hold that against you (dogs need homes too) and you can buy goodies for your dogs and support Alley Cats and Angels at the same time!

Place an order at, select Alley Cats and Angels, NC as the rewards fundraising partner & US Bones will donate 25% of the order value to us. This is a great way to spoil your dog or cat and help Alley Cats and Angels spay/neuter cats whose caregivers/owners cannot afford the cost of spay/neuter. 

All proceeds from US Bones will go to our Alter an Alley Cat program.

Correction Facility Project Update

The first set of five cats (3 females and 2 males) were spayed/neutered and vaccinated Friday.  They recovered at my house over the weekend while I continued to trap there.

I trapped Friday night with the intent of catching the kittens (figured I would catch one adult but that's ok).  Caught 1 adult and 1 kitten within the first hour.  And then it took 2.5 more hours to get another kitten.  Very hot, sitting in car with no air (can't run the car for hours on end plus I need to be inconspicuous).  

Went back Saturday night around 10P and caught 1 adult in less than 30 minutes.  Took 2 hours before I even saw the other kitten (thought there was 1 or 2 left).  Then I sat there watching until 5AM, when I finally gave up for the night.  The last black kitten mocked me much of the night and morning just looking at me like "naanaanaanaanaa - you can't catch me".  HA - that's what you think little bugger - I'm coming back with KFC tomorrow!  :-)

Sunday was return day for the five vetted on Friday.  The inmates were happy to see me because I brought the cats back as promised. We released the cats from their traps.  I talked to the inmates and officers about the ear crop and looking for cats that do not have a cropped left ear and making notes of how many, what they look like, and where they hang out so we know how many more we need to TNR. 

I then set up traps outside the gates near the one trailer to get the last kitten.  Bam - sky opens up and torrential downpour.  So I covered the traps with heavy towels and caught one adult rather quickly.  About an hour later almost caught the black kitten (who will be named Alcatraz because he was hardcore when it came to trapping him) but he stepped over the plate.  Looked out a little bit later with the flashnight and ACK, I see three little sets of eyes glowing in the dark at me.  There's not one kitten, there are at least three.  Oh dear - we really are full, but we are committed to this project. So I put out a couple more traps. 

About 45 minutes later, I see mama and two little kittens following her.  I make a mad dash and one squeezes through the chainlink fence into the prison front yard and the other goes under another trailer.  Call the guard and ask to be let in the front gate.  Start crawling on the ground in the mud (oh well, I'm already wet by now, what's a little mud) to try to sneak up on the kitten (yeah right, that didn't go so well).  Kitten runs up to one of the buildings and tries to crawl up a drain pipe and I managed to scare him into a spot he can't get out of but he's such a small little one that I can't wear my animal control gloves to get him so I reach in and grab him. OUCH - little bugger bites my fingers and scratches me.  My gloves and trap are too far away so I wrap my shirt around him and run to the trap and drop him in and then take him to my car and transfer him to a carrier (and get bit again - little stinker!).  He's definitely a different litter than the other four (maybe a week or so younger).  Set up another trap by the trailer.  See mama and TWO kittens following her (seriously - they are multiplying right in front of  my eyes) - obviously the same litter as the little gray one I just grabbed.  Decide maybe I can lure other kittena or mama into a trap by putting the carrier with the kitten at the end of one trap (it had stopped raining).  After several more hours, it's midnight and I really need to get home (35+ minute drive), get cats settled, consider going to bed since I have to get up early and take the ferals to Jill's house so she can drop them off at Dr. Farmer's today for S/N).  Left two traps for the corrections officers, Jessica (Officer Ward) works today and they will try to get the kittens. 

A super huge thank you to Dr. Farmer for fitting in three ferals for spay/neuter and vaccinations today - cats for which I did not have appointments.  Hadn't intended on trapping adults, was only trying to catch the kittens, but our rule is - you go in the trap, you don't come out (except onto the operating table) until you're missing your boy or girl parts.

So for those keeping track - this is what we have done so far at correctional facility:
  • 1 friendly mama and her 5 kittens (all in adoption program)
  • 2 kittens born to a feral mama (in adoption program)
  • 5 adults spayed/neutered (3 females, 2 males) - all 5 TNR'd
  • 5 kittens captured this weekend (plenty young enough to socialize - 4.5-5.5 weeks old) (in our adoption program)
  • 3 adults at the vet today (two males and a female) that will be returned Wednesday (TNR)
There are:
  • At least 2 more small kittens to catch
  • At least 2 adult cats to catch that I know of for sure that need to be TNR'd, but of course I'm sure there are more - there always are!
I was talking with one of the officers Saturday night and he said while he's not crazy about cats, they sure keep the rodents away. He's been at other facilities that have so many mice, rats, and bugs, but not here.   The cats all seem healthy, none of them are skinny, and they make the inmates happy. The cats be able to remain there is a great thing.

Update on Tiger

From Tiger's forever home: Just wanted to give you a quick update on Tiger. I think he is acclimating well in his new home and he and and our female kitty, Alice, seem to be getting used to each other, at least they agree to disagree! Just check out the attached picture, I think Tiger has decided to keep us. Thank you for what you do, we and Tiger hit the jackpot!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Great night last night

Had a great night trapping at the correctional facility last night.  We trapped five cats for spay/neuter and vaccinations today.  The inmates were a phenomenal help and were able to pick up three of the cats and put them in the traps for me.  The cats raised a ruckus when they saw the traps, but the guys put on the heavy animal control gloves I have (bite resistant but not bite proof) and dropped them in the traps.  First three caught in first 30 minutes there.  We covered the traps and set them next to the laundry house and I got two more traps from my car and we set them and caught two more.  One of them is a lactating mama cat but I saw her kittens and they are definitely old enough to eat on their own and I put some food under the building where they are hiding (and the sneaky little buggers dragged the food under the building to get to it). 

I'm going back to try to get the kittens tonight - they weren't cooperating last night.  But tonight with a smelly gross mix of sardines and tuna (the real stuff), I'm sure I can tempt them out of their hiding spot.  They are actually hiding outside the gates so I can sit in my car and watch the traps all night if need be (inside grounds have to be escorted). 

The inmates and the corrections officers were absolutely fantastic and I thank them for their cooperation and more importantly, for their help.  They were happy to learn the cats can stay there after they are spayed/neutered and vaccinated -- no more trap and kill by animal control.  And when the guys told me about the fighting among the males, I explained that the majority of that should cease after they are neutered -- which is great because apparently Bobo and Blackie fight alot. 

I'm pretty sure there are more than 10 and we'll have to do staggered trapping (I went from 8:15 to 9:30 last night, would've stayed longer but caught 5 and that's all the appointments we had for today), but some of the cats come out after it's lights out in the courtyard, and some only come out at breakfast time.  We'll alternate trapping between the various members of the TNR Task Force and me and we will get those cats!  We've got the drop-traps for the hard to trap kitties.

We are very committed to this project as this is great not just for the cats, but for the inmates also.  There are a few guys with life sentences there and they love the cats and the cats are good for the inmates.  It's win-win. 

Now, I just have to work on getting more donations for this. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Debut of the Toy Story Kittens

Meet Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Bo Peep, and Jessie - the Toy Story kittens.  These kittens appeared on someone's doorstep late one evening when they were about 2 weeks old.  After a call to our voicemail, we picked up the kittens that night.  Fortunately, we were able to find a foster home that could bottle feed.  We found out later they were born to a feral mom in a mobile home park.  Thanks to one of our TNR Task Force co-leaders (Marie P), we we have started doing targeted TNR at that location and the mama cat has been trapped and spayed.

Woody and Buzz Lightyear are males. Bo Peep and Jessie are females. Bo Peep is a manx with just the cutest little nub of a tail. The kittens are about 8 weeks old now and will be available for adoption in July.

Bo Peep

Buzz Lightyear



New kitty

Yes, another new kitty in our adoption program that we hadn't planned on taking in but this one had special circumstances. 

A primarily dog only rescue pulled a dog from a shelter and pulled a cat also - a super sweet and affectionate medium haired tuxedo boy about 4 months old.  Apparently the cat scratched someone as he was being dewormed and so the rescued said he was aggressive and was going to take him back to the kill shelter where they pulled him.  Fortunately, the vet clinic called us and we took him in. 

I must admit it is hard not to be too judgemental.  I mean are you kidding me? Cats are smarter than dogs when it comes to medicine.  With a dog, wrap a pill in a piece of bread, hot dog, anything and throw it to them and they will scarf it down and won't know they were dosed with medicine.  Cats will figure it out - they don't blindly catch things in their mouth!  My personal cats are super loving and affectionate, but break out the medicine and they will not cooperate and I may get scratched. Does that mean they are aggressive?  No, it means they don't want to take their medicine. 

There is nothing at all aggressive about this cat, he is the sweetest, affectionate, and loving kitty.  He's a "we'd trust him around a young child" kind of kitten.  Will get pictures of him up soon - we just got him last night.

So to the "rescue" that pulled him, we thank you for him and I'll stop there. 
**Now stepping off soapbox.**